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Ye’s “Vultures 1”: Underwhelming at Best

Yes Vultures 1: Underwhelming at Best
Ye Archive

Overall Rating: 4.5/10. This album is mediocre.

“VULTURES 1,” a compilation album by rappers Ye and Ty Dolla $ign, was announced on Dec. 15, 2023 and released on streaming platforms on Feb. 11 of this year. This album marks Ye’s 13th studio album and third compilation album, and Ty Dolla $ign’s seventh studio album and second compilation album.

This album comes three years after Ye’s last album, “Donda,” which was surrounded by lots of turmoil in Ye’s personal life. He divorced his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, in 2021, which led him to harass Kardashian on social media, specifically X and Instagram, temporarily banning him from those social media platforms.

Along with his very public divorce with Kardashian, he made antisemitic statements in multiple podcasts and interviews, even once advocating for Adolf Hitler’s means of mass extermination in a 2022 interview with Alex Jones. He later acknowledged his antisemitic claims on X and Instagram, and received intense criticism and backlash from music critics as well as hip-hop artists.

“VULTURES 1” contains an abundance of producers, writers and features, notably Playboi Carti, Lil Durk, Freddie Gibbs, Mike Dean, Travis Scott and Ye’s daughter, North West. There are 15 songs on the first volume, making the length of the album 52 minutes.

I found the number of tracks in the album just right, as many of the songs averaged about two minutes in length, the longest track being “BEG FORGIVENESS” and the shortest being “STARS.” There were also many different types of beats on the album, ranging from heavy gospel like “TALKING” to hard, aggressive bass and 808’s such as those found in “PAPERWORK.”

The production on this album is incredible due to the tremendous number of producers credited; each beat brought a unique sound and aspect to the album.

I especially enjoyed the rhythmic and heavy vocal samples in the album with Ty Dolla $ign bringing sharp lyrics. Ye’s lyrics, although limited, were witty and intelligent. My favorite tracks on this album are “BACK TO ME” featuring Freddie Gibbs, “CARNIVAL” featuring Rich The Kid and Playboi Carti, “TALKING” featuring North West and “BURN”.

“BACK TO ME” brought a comical sample and hook from 1999 American comedy movie “Dogma,” which was utilized by Ye for most of the lyrics. Ty Dolla $ign and Freddie Gibbs balance out Ye’s lackluster lyrics on the track with fast, intuitive lyrics as well as melodic hooks from Ty Dolla $ign.

“CARNIVAL” samples the Inter Milan football superfans harmonizing and rapping the hook of the track accompanied by a heavy bass and metal guitar during the track. This song features Playboi Carti and Rich The Kid who provide harmonious lyrics to the already overly energetic nature of the track, again helping boost the song from Ye’s lack of meaningful contribution.

“TALKING” uses a rhythmic beat mixed with vocals and slamming 808’s, as well as an amusing verse from North West on the first part of the track. The second part of the song transfers to a bursting gospel and snare drums with vocal samples and direct and forward lyrics from Ty Dolla $ign.

“BURN” uses a relaxing and rhythmic beat to complement Ty Dolla’s melodic lyrics and hook. I especially enjoy Ye’s lyricism and flow on this song, as it reflects his vintage self.

The first volume of this album has not disappointed my expectations; rather, it has given me mixed feelings about the album and the continuations of “VULTURES.”

The production for each track is great; however, the repetitive topics in Ye’s lyrics are uninspiring. Even when he is a main speaker on his track, the lines are usually repeated or mimic Ty Dolla $ign’s performance. Ty Dolla gives a good balance to many songs but some of his parts are unoriginal and easy to ignore.

I believe that this album has good highs, but also many low-quality and skippable songs that just feel like filler in the tracklist such as “KEYS TO MY LIFE,” “DO IT,” “KING” and “STARS.” I’m looking forward to seeing the differences in the second volume of Ye and Ty Dolla’s upcoming compilation album, “VULTURES 2”, set to release later in 2024 with features from Lil Wayne and Future.

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